EaglesFanCast 115 – Giant Crash

The Philadelphia Eagles home opener against the New York Giants did not turn out the way most expected with the Eagles losing 16-29.  Many things broke down this week, including some huge coaching decisions that were questionable at best.  The run Defense continued to suffer, and player discipline also was suspect with costly dropped passes and game-changing penalties.  Quarterback Mike Vick injured his hand, originally thought to have been broken, which brought in backup Mike Kafka.  Kafka threw two costly interceptions, which sealed any kind of comeback.  It definitely ruined a fun day, with a tailgate full of pulled pork sandwiches and sausage peppers and onions made by my lovely wife!

Now the Eagles are in a situation where they have to win the next game against the 49ers, another NFC team, to both stop the slide, and regroup.

[Photo courtesy of Mike Pacheco]

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the New York Giants in the home opener and fall to 1-2, last place in the NFC East
  • Coach Andy Reid has to own the brunt of the blame for this loss
  • Mike Vick struggled badly before being injured
  • Defense still being shuffled around, trying to fix the problems
  • This week’s game against the 49ers is already a must-win game
  • A question posed: “If we could trade for a player in the league, who would it be?”
  • Thanks again to GMNortheast for loaning Eric and Chuck the Camaros
  • The EFC FFL update
Crashing together:

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No More Dream Team Talk (Please)

Let’s start by throwing out the “Dream Team” tag. I never liked it to begin with.  Dream teams do not have major deficiencies in key positions. Sure the Eagles have three of the best Cornerbacks in the league, but also have Linebackers who cannot cover Tight Ends, or in the case of Casey Mathews on Sunday, the Running Back.

Dream teams do not have safeties who try to tackle the shoulders, a la Kurt Coleman, and let them turn a modest completion into a 70+ yard TD. Dream teams do not get consistently stopped at the goal line.  Dream teams also do not have special teams that go offsides on a field goal attempt on 4th and short.

The Giants didn’t win that game, the Eagles lost it plain and simple. They were in position to score up to five TDs and only scored one.
The defence overall did a good job, kept them to five of twelve on 3rd down. Kept them to only 14 First Downs for the game. However Mathews and Coleman on two plays undermined the good work allowing two TDs totalling 114 yards, more than a third of the Giants’ total yardage.

There were also some horrible plays on offence, such as Steve Smith’s dropped catch turning into an interception, and two horrible interceptions by Kafka late.

That was probably one of the most frustrating games I’ve seen in a long time. Shady McCoy was the standout highlight, finally we saw the Eagles run the ball consistently, at one point ten runs were called out of eleven plays. In total 40 runs and 30 passes, I hope we can keep the run ratio at 50% (or slightly better) for the rest of the season. Now if we can just get Vick to be still in the game in the 4th Quarter we can look forward to some play action passes, hopefully for big plays.

I still think we will win the division, but we need to keep doing all the good things and eliminate the terrible things that are costing us wins.

Birds!

WIN Damnit!

Aussie Steve.

EaglesFanCast 114 – Eagles Fall to Falcons

A wild game down south as the Philadelphia Eagles put up 31 points only to lose to the Atlanta Falcons.  Dropped passes, turnovers, Defensive holes, coaching mistakes and Quarterback Michael Vick leaving the game because of a concussion were the many reasons this game was lost. Despite these, the Eagles put up numbers that would have beaten most teams in the NFL, and there were quite a few bright spots during the game. Some fans are angry and others look at it in the context of it being early in the season.  All told, for the most part the fans are on board with this team as continuing to be a force on both sides of the ball.

This week the Eagles host the New York Giants for the home opener in Philadelphia. With the Giants wanting revenge for the embarrassing loss they marked the last time these teams met, trash talking among some players and the media has started. It is looking like it’s going to be a great game.

What we discussed:

  • Eagles lose to the Atlanta Falcons in a wild game
  • Head Coach Andy Reid’s decisions and Offensive turnovers cost this game
  • Jason Peters and Trent Cole both had amazing games
  • Michael Vick and his turnovers
  • The Giants are all hyped up for revenge and are talking trash
  • Running back Shady McCoy is just so good, and it was amazing to watch him
  • We talk briefly about our loaner cars from GMNortheast.
  • The EFC FFL update
Just driving forward:

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EaglesFanCast 113 – Eagles Start Strong

The Philadelphia Eagles start off the 2011 NFL season with a big win over the St. Louis Rams.  After a rough start on both Offense and Defense, the team turns things around and outscore the Rams 31-6 after a remarkable Rams touchdown very early in the game. The Eagles players and coaches made the necessary adjustments and turned it around showing a tenacity and maturity that we hoped we would see from this team.  Next the Eagles go into Atlanta for a much-hyped game against our star quarterback’s former team, after they come off a bad loss.  It will be another big test early in the season leading up to the home opener the following week.

What we discussed:

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Eric's Chevrolet Camaro Convertible thanks to GM Northeast
  • Eagles beat the St. Louis Rams 31-13 on the road to start the season off strong
  • The Offensive line and linebackers definitely were the weak links as was suspected
  • The team adjusted well early, both coaches and players
  • It’s a learning process for the team, and the hope is they excel quickly
  • Eric talks briefly about the Chevrolet Camaro convertible that GM Northeast was awesome enough to let him drive for the week. We encourage you to visit their site at www.drivingthenortheast.com and follow them on twitter,@GMNortheast
  • We have the EFC FFL Week 1 update
Drive with us:

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NFC East Prediction 2011

This time last year I was talking about the new era under Kevin Kolb and how the Eagles could well be a team in transition. Now, Kolb’s career in Philly is over. Blink and you’ll have missed it!

Was last year a transitional season? I think it was meant to be. I don’t think that many Eagles fans truly believed we’d get to the playoffs and one of the main reasons we did was that the NFC East was in such a mess. I didn’t expect McNabb to crash and burn so spectacularly in Washington and who could have foreseen Dallas challenging Carolina for last place in the NFL until their form picked up under Kitna?

The other main reason that the Eagles won the NFC East and marched into the playoffs was the star reborn, Mr Michael Dwayne Vick.

When Vick signed for the Eagles, I had a #7 jersey shipped over to the UK right away. I knew he was going to be a back-up for McNabb and I knew about his previous problems, but he was still one of the most exciting players ever to play the game and he was an Eagle! At the end of that first season there were talks of a trade and then Kolb was named starter, but I still wore my #7 jersey. Then week one came, Kolb was KO’d and Vick took over the team. And how!

There were certainly areas, especially on defense, where the Eagles were lacking. The secondary was decimated and it really started to show as the playoffs loomed. Even the offense had problems. Short yardage situations were a nightmare and Vick often took it upon himself to singlehandedly make first downs. This led to injury and meant that when I flew in for the Falcons game I saw Kolb rather than Vick at QB, not that I complained after his performance that day!

A stronger, faster, meaner Mike Vick dragged the team right into the playoffs and it appears that the Eagles’ Front Office were as impressed with #7 as the rest of the world. This off season, they’ve gone out and spent dollars. Lots of them. It’s almost as if they realized that in Vick they have something very special, a Quarterback capable of winning the big one. If this was a game of poker, the Eagles just went “all in”.

It’s difficult to predict the future, but last season I was only 5 games out when looking at the NFC East as a whole. How did I do it? Well, I figure that the most relevant season in history is the last one, so I’ve awarded 10 points for each win during 2010. This gives the Eagles 100 points (10 wins x 10 points). Then in 2009, I’ve awarded 9 points per win which means that the Eagles bank another 99 points for their 11 wins. I’ve followed this all the way back to 2001 where the 11 wins are worth 1 point each, so 11 in all. Adding the points for each season together gives me a total of 540, but in order to convert this to a single season win record I need to divide by 55 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10). I then end up with 9.82 (540 / 55) and so from the record of the last 10 NFL seasons, I predict that the Eagles will end up 10-6 in 2011.

Interestingly, the stats have come up with exactly the same prediction for the NFC East as it did last year:-

Eagles 10-6
Giants 9-7
Cowboys 9-7
Redskins 7-9

Of course, what actually happened last year was:-

Eagles 10-6
Giants 10-6
Cowboys 6-10
Redskins 6-10

The prediction for the Eagles was spot on, the Giants and Redskins were just 1 game out and even historical data couldn’t predict the horrible mess in Dallas (haha!).

Eagles 10-6 in 2011? I’d be disappointed with that, to be honest. With the hype surrounding this team and the massive upgrade in personnel, I believe we should be looking realistically at between 12 and 14 wins. The Giants are likely to be the biggest threat in the division, 9-7 or maybe 10-6 for them. The Cowboys… well… can we dare wish for more comedy from Jerry’s circus? I’m sure all their fans are predicting 16-0 like they do every year, but it would be a big turnaround if the managed a winning season at all. And the poor Redskins with Rex Grossman leading them. Can they get 7 wins? They do have some pretty average teams on their schedule, but I still think that 7 wins will be a stretch.

I’m not too confident that the stats system will be as accurate this year, but then I didn’t expect the ‘transitional’ Eagles to achieve 10-6 in 2010. As it happens I was spot on. Only time will tell. Well, time and #7 staying healthy for the season.

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!